This photographer recovered Pogačar’s crashed Flanders main unit

20km into Tadej Pogačar’s Tour of Flanders, disaster nearly struck as he hit the bridge in a low-speed crash. The rider who rarely falls, has fallen.

In the end, this incident had little bearing on the race. Pogačar passed the peloton on the second ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, eventually dragging just Mathieu van der Poel. Pogačar looked formidable once again, but the sprint to the finish ultimately ended in disappointment for the fourth-placed Slovenian.

“I lost my SRM,” Pogačar said, reflecting after the race. “I didn’t have the central unit so I relied on my radio and my sporting director. In the end, maybe it was even better without the numbers and maybe not so nervous.

For one person, Pogačar’s soon forgotten crash has become a memory by which he will always remember De Ronde 2022.

Léon Van Bon is a photographer who worked on the race. And like all good photographers, he was in the right place at the right time.

“It was 20km after the start of the race near Sint-Niklaas,” said Van Bon, speaking exclusively to Cycling tips. “Pogačar got a bit stuck because they had to go down a lane and a few people crashed. It crashed and I saw the SRM power meter on the ground and recognized it was from him.

Van Bon’s first instinct was make the main unit take pictures of the accident. And then try to return the main unit.

“I tried to give it to him but he had…well, I took pictures first and then I tried to give it to him…but he was busy with other things,” Van Bon explained. “Then it just took off.”

Instantly, her phone lit up with notifications.

“It was filmed on TV, so I immediately got messages from friends saying ‘oh, you got Pogačar’s computer back!'”

In the press room after returning from following the entire race on the roads, Van Bon sits at one of the reception desks, quietly uploading and editing the photos he has taken. Sitting nonchalantly in front of his laptop is the head unit of a two-time Tour de France winner.

Pogačar’s broken head unit

“I know his sporting director, he’s a former team-mate of mine, so I said I had the computer,” Van Bon said, although Pogačar is unlikely to show up for the match. press room to collect his belongings. “The team emailed me now with a USP label to send it to them.”

Without a face-to-face meeting, does he think the chances of a reward for recovering the lost item are slim?

“Well, I’d like to have a portrait session with him or something, just for a few minutes,” he said. “That would be nice as a thank you.” Let’s make it happen UAE Team Emirates.

Leon Van Bon might be a household name to many, and that’s because he’s not your usual cycling photographer (although it’s hard to say none of them are exactly normal ). Van Bon was a successful professional rider, winning two Tour de France stages, Vuelta a España, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico stages, as well as a bronze medal at the 1997 Road World Championships. does a peloton end up sitting across the aisle?

“You have to do something, right? Van Bon jokes. “No no No. When I was young, I was interested in photography, but then I made a career in professional cycling and everything stuck in my mind.

“Then when my eldest daughter was born I bought a camera just to capture that. Before I ended my career I had a photo studio ready at home to see if cycling photography was something for me and I love it.

It’s very good,” he continued, of his involvement in the sport. “I like the world of cycling. But it’s still a bit weird to imagine that I was on the other side because it’s very different.

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